Five noteworthy thoughts
Where to start!? Since others have tried the list format recently, here goes:
1. Aspen High’s last “Skier TV” cracked me up. Like the “Church of What’s Happening Now.”
2. In the article on Polis’ visit and “climate,” $400 million in the Colorado budget was mentioned. Most of this goes to control of other kinds of air pollution. There is $150 million for electric school buses, but $50 million or more comes from the “VW diesel settlement.”
3. For commercial building energy efficiency, Aspen is moving forward with utility bill reporting (“bench marking”) leading to required retrofits (“performance standards”). How the second unfolds is a bit unclear, but data from the first could assist with a reevaluation of the district heat system considered 10 years ago. The “geothermal” well produced plenty of water, but that was not hot enough to be used directly. Now, this could be the source for a few big modern heat pumps that can supply standard (180F) heating water. These are now being imported from Europe.
4. Glen Canyon Dam only indirectly “supplies power to millions of customers.” Its annual output fully supplies about a half million households. Many municipal and rural utilities get a small fraction of their power from it, hence the “millions.” It could be replaced by 20 square miles or less of solar fields, with a closed loop pumped hydro energy storage system. Lake Powell when full covered 250 square miles.
5. Clearly Xcel should close Comanche 3. It was a tad too “innovative,” like their St. Vrain helium-cooled nuke, and the “Smart Grid City” in Boulder. I think we should accelerate renewables statewide, and modify some of the other coal plants for “cycling,” allowing them to shut down and turn on for backup, instead of building new gas backup power.